Bittersweet Symphony

Today is Steve Kamb’s last day at Sixthman and while we are thrilled for him to embark on launching his own business, we are very sad to see him go.  He reluctantly agreed to allow me to celebrate him today on the forum that he brought to life over two years ago.

Andy:  How many articles have we published on the Sixthman Blog since you started it?

Steve: Phew, since we started the Sixthman blog during my first cruise season in 2008, we’ve published 697 articles on here, with over 2,200 comments.  Jeez, that’s a lot of memories.

Andy:  Is there one article of yours that stands out to you?

Steve: Hmmm, I’d have to say the article that I enjoyed writing the most was probably my first attempt at a “running diary” back in 2008, Day 1 of the 2nd Annual Ships and Dip III.  It’s always fun to go back and try to remember what you did on any given day while on a Sixthman cruise, because you pack so much STUFF into each day that it’s almost impossible to get it all.  I had so much fun writing articles in this style that I ended up writing a few per cruise after that.

Andy:  Tell us about your new venture, NerdFitness.com?

Steve: About sixteen months ago, thanks to my time spent working on the Sixthman Blog, I realized how much I enjoyed writing and decided to start my own blog in my spare time.  I had always been kind of a fitness nut, and I figured there were probably thousands of other people out there like me who maybe wouldn’t check out a normal fitness website or get a gym membership but want to lose weight, build muscle, and live healthier.  There’s too much bad and incorrect information out there when it comes to the fitness industry; I started Nerd Fitness to present my studies, research, and experiences in a unique and (hopefully) comical manner.

Since launching the site last January, it’s grown from a simple blog into a pretty substantial group of people helping each other turn their lives around.  Ultimately, the site had grown so big that I had to make the tough decision recently to focus all of my attention on it; I’ve realized that’s where my heart is and that’s where I can make my the biggest impact on people’s lives. This is hokey to say, but I honestly want to change the world and I think I’ve found my avenue to do so.  It’s terrifying to go out on my own, but deep down inside I know it’s the right move for me and I can’t wait to get started.

Andy:  What will you miss the most about Sixthman?

Steve: This is almost impossible to answer, as there are so many things about this job and Sixthman that I will truly miss. If I had to pick just one thing though, it would be the day-to-day interaction with all of my friends (who happen to also be my co-workers).

Thanks to the unique office life, ship life, and culture that you’ve created here, incredibly powerful friendships and relationships are established really quickly around here.  I consider the people at Sixthman to be some of my closest friends and I fully intend to stay close with them for the rest of my life.  In fact, as long as you’ll have me, I plan on running my company at least a few times a month from a laptop while sitting on a couch at Sixthman HQ, just so I can be around everybody.

Andy:  Share one office memory and one cruise memory that stands out as unforgettable?

Steve: One of each is impossible, so I’ll do two in detail followed by a few more quick ones.

Office memory: Sixthman Christmas party, 2007. I had been with the company for only two weeks up to this point, but Sixthman managed to give me two Christmas gifts that showed just how much they wanted me to feel like part of the family.  Because I had joked one day in the office that my car had no heat, I was given the best gifts ever: 3 pairs of really great thick wool socks along with a double-disc edition of my favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption.  I spent the rest of the night, teary-eyed, listening to my coworker Jill Mac and her band Arlington Priest performing at Eddie’s Attic.  I was just in shock that such a thoughtful and caring company existed.

Cruise memory: My first cruise ever, Simple Man Cruise 2008, first night on board. After a successful and long boarding day, Sixthman let loose thanks to having a port day the next day.  After a couple of beers (hmm…it might have been more than a couple), I threw my arm around your shoulder and seriously asked, “how much do I owe you for this experience?”  Thanks for never charging me.

A few more memories:

  • My job interview: Getting interviewed by April, Lauren, and Melissa at Midtown Bowl – they wanted to make sure I could fit in with the team and have some fun.  I happened to bowl the best game of my life while being “interviewed.”  Last night we returned to the same bowling alley for my send-off party. Damn I love these guys.
  • My drive cross country to come work for Sixthman: Driving my heatless car 2200 miles in three days, smiling the entire time, screaming any song on the radio at the top of my lungs.  That’s how excited I was to come work here.
  • Sixthman Christmas Party 2008: Epic on all accounts, it resulted in the funniest email I’ve ever received at 7AM on the Saturday morning the next day.
  • Cayamo 2009: Watching my parents  have the time of their life on this cruise, enjoying incredible performances from their favorite musicians and finally getting to see what I do for a living. Not surprisingly, they’ll be returning for their 3rd Cayamo this Spring.
  • Gaelic Storm’s deck show on TRBX: I wrote about this more completely here, but that was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever been a part of.

Andy:  Are there any philosophies you think you will “Borrow” from Sixthman?

Steve: I plan on borrowing so many things from Sixthman that I should probably be charged for them.  Luckily, these are all intangibles rather than physical items, which technically make them priceless.  Here are a few.

Above and beyond all else, I want to be accessible to my readers.  I’ve learned that the more “personal” you can make yourself whether it’s through a blog, video, podcast, email, or message board post, the more people are going to consider giving you their trust and attention, something that is incredibly difficult to earn when it’s not a face-to-face interaction.

Secondly, although it’s always been something that’s been important to me, Sixthman has solidified my belief in the importance of integrity, morality, and business ethics.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a guest approach you with a difficult issue or put you in a difficult situation.  Rather than discuss how much it’s going to cost to fix, your response has always been, “what do we need to do to make this right?” THAT is how you run a company, and when I start to bring in revenue through my site I plan on running my company with the same level of integrity.

Andy:  What contributions are you most proud of during your time at Sixthman?

Steve: Finally, an easy question!

This blog – Before coming to work for Sixthman, I never once considered a career in writing, the music industry, or fitness – hell, my degree was in economics!  However, in the two+ years I’ve spent with the blog I’ve really discovered a passion for writing that I never knew I had.  Although I’m no longer in charge of the Blog, I can’t wait to see what direction it’s headed.

Sixthman.TV
– Despite having zero education or experience in script-writing, cinematography, directing, or editing, you reached out to me last summer to start creating short films each week highlighting our office and the different personalities that inhabit it.  Thanks to the colorful and hilarious people that work at Sixthman, it turned out to be the highlight of my workweek.  We’ve made so many videos that we now have an entire TV channel on board dedicated to our videos.

Hopefully I can come back at some point to guest-write/direct a future Sixthman TV episode – the idea well has not run dry yet!

Andy:  What advice would you give someone starting at Sixthman today?

Steve: Learn as much as you can from those around you, and enjoy every freaking minute of it.  Companies like this are one in a million, and I will never forget the time I’ve spent here.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn so many things from so many great people and form such lasting relationships.  I have no reservations saying that coming to work for Sixthman was one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.  I’m going to miss you guys, but don’t worry, I won’t be a stranger…you can’t get rid of me that easily.

Andy: Good luck Steve.  Thanks for bringing Sixthman out of the cave with a Blog, Sixthman TV, Podcasts, Great Writing and a Million Ideas.

-Your family

13 thoughts on “Bittersweet Symphony

  1. So sorry to see you go Steve, You have always been a fantastic guy. Best of luck.ps. I didn't know you were a disc golfer – I am an avid player as well.

  2. I just LOVE Steve…I hope you still plan on Rock Boating….You were by far one of the easiest people to talk to and I will miss everything you write and video….Your “Short Films” were one of my favorite things to watch!!LOVE & LUCK!!! Patti P.

  3. NOOOOOO! Say it isn't so! Steve, your smiling face on Cayamo meant so much to all of us. We will be a lesser group by not having you with us…unless you DO happen to come along with us and your parents for Cayamo 11. Good luck, buddy. You will be missed.ncsherri

  4. Bittersweet news indeed Steve! Good luck over at Nerd Fitness! Thank you (!!!) for all the Sixthman love over the past few years. The blogs, videos, podcasts, etc. are what help pass the time between all of our favorite Sixthman events! Thank you for that!

  5. Steve, you really will be missed! I'm sure man Sixthman customers will also become avid NerdFitness readers as well, so hopefully this isn't the last you hear from us! Good luck and keep coming back on the cruises so you keep in touch with your WHOLE family! :-P

  6. *Sniff* What a wonderful send-off! Steve, you will be missed by far more than your co-workers! This blog has been my favorite Brand blog to keep up with…but you all know that you're far more than a Brand, and I fell in love with Sixthman on S&D3…we'll miss you, Steve, but I'll definitely be following you over at NerdFitness, now that I know you share another passion of mine!

  7. Wow – It'd be a big step leaving any old job but to leave a SIXTHMAN job that is an incredible leap. Best of luck, it's been a blast over these last few years. Enjoy the ride and if you ever need a really good vacation, you know where we are.

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